ArcelorMittal scraps Rs.40,000 crore steel plant in Odisha

Luxembourg/Bhubaneswar, July 17 (IANS) ArcelorMittal Wednesday announced scrapping of its 12 million tonne per year integrated steel plant in Keonjhar district of Odisha where it was supposed to invest Rs.40,000 crore.

The world's largest steel maker said it was exiting the project since it was unable to get the necessary land and mines.

"Over the last seven years we have invested considerable resources into this project; however, the delays relating to land acquisition and allocation of captive iron ore blocks means this project is no longer viable," said Vijay Bhatnagar, executive vice president and member of the management committee, CEO of India and China.

The company had signed an MoU with the Odisha government in December 2006. The company, however, said it will continue with its projects in Jharkhand and Karnataka.

ArcellorMittal's decision came a day after South Korean steel maker POSCO scrapped its Rs.30,000 crore steel project in Karnataka.

Reacting to the development, the authorities in Odisha said they were not surprised by the announcement.

"The project was already in a dormant state since the past few years and Mittal was not pursuing it," state Steel and Mines Minister Rajanikanta Singh told IANS.

"The government was following the matter repeatedly but there had been no response from them (company) neither did they (company) deposited the required charges for the land they wanted for the project," he said.

"I don't know why they made an announcement at this point of time when they were not doing anything for the last two years," said an official of the state steel and mines department.


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